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Posts Tagged ‘Young Israel’

NCSY Philanthropy

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Over the past three months seven groups of NCSY teen leaders researched non-profit organizations, meeting with and learning from these organizations’ representatives about the Jewish perspective regarding philanthropy.

On February 29, at Young Israel of Century City, NCSY held its first Decision Day. Judges heard presentations from the students, and granted the following groups $5,000 – to be split among them. The winners were Camp Chesed, Shoes that Fit, G’mach of San Diego, and The Hero Project Holocaust Education Reach-Out.

(L-R) NCSY Regional Director Solly Hess; David Malka; Menachem Kashanian; Daniel Sacks; and NCSY West Coast Executive Director Rabbi Effie Goldberg.

 

(L-R) NCSY Regional Director Solly Hess; Brandon Lurie; Sam Rhodes; and NCSY West Coast Executive Director Rabbi Effie Goldberg.

 

(L-R) Jaques Hay; Yosef Peretz; NCSY Regional Director Solly Hess; Sarrica Fink; Danielle Vildodrf; Eliana Jalali; and NCSY West Coast Executive Director Rabbi Effie Goldberg.

 

West Coast Happenings

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Events In The West: This Shabbos the Pacific Jewish Center in Venice is hosting a Shabbaton to celebrate Shabbat Across America… On March 10, Eliot Goldstein, deputy executive director of the Jewish Distribution Committee’s Global Resource Development Department, will speak on “GPS: Navigating the Jewish World” at Young Israel of Century City… On Sunday March 11 at 5 p.m., the Special Maccabees, a Jewish special-needs basketball program, will play at L.A.’s Westside Jewish Community Center against the Special Olympics basketball team.

Shul Trends: Some California shuls are starting new trends that may work in other shuls. Adas Israel in San Francisco has communitywide Hachnasas Orchim Shabbos programs. The shul asks their members to invite someone for the first time to their homes for Shabbos lunch in order to help build community spirit… L.A.’s Link Kollel Shul in the Pico-Robertson area has started a Shabbos morning minyan with explanations and discussions of the meanings of the prayers and the Torah reading. It is accompanied by plenty of singing, spirit and warmth, and a Kiddush follows the davening. Depending on the response to this type of minyan, it could be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly… Adat Yeshurun in La Jolla is bringing back the “Purim Spiel” to their Purim seudah.

LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Birth: Eytan and Victoria Geft, a son.

 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Shloimy and Daniella Mosbacher, a son… Aaron and Carli Becker, a son (Grandparents Victor and Debbie Sacks)… Rabbi Dovid and Shifra Revah, a daughter… Mendy and Dini Avzton, a daughter… Avrohom and Levana Greenstein, a daughter… Bentzy and Aleeza Sherman of NY, a son (Grandparents Jimmy and Jeanne Salamon)… Dovid and Daphna Levine, a daughter (Grandfather Dubby Teichman; Great-grandparents Sol and Ruth Teichman)… Dr. Michael and Sarah Helfand, a son… Avi and Devorah Weiss, a son (Grandparents Dr. Steven and Rivky Weiss; Great-grandmother Bessie Weiss)… Eytan and Victoria Geft, a son (Grandparents Dr. Ivor and Liebe Geft)… Rabbi Mordechai and Jennifer Pollock, a daughter (Grandmother Sonia Slavin)… Rabbi Moshe and Basya Samuels, a daughter (Grandparents Julia Hellman Gindi; Cary and Joyce Samuels)… Baruch and Dini Friedman, a son (Grandparents Mendel and Shoshana Dubinsky)… Eric and Debbie Schames, a son (Grandparents Dr. Joseph and June Schames; Great-grandmother Esther Schames)… Yoel and Chana Zuman of Lakewood, NJ, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Bezalel and Devorah Zuman; Great-grandparents David and Sheila Thumim)… Rabbi Adir and Dr. Hindi Posy, a son (Grandparents Billy and Avivya Stohl; Carl and Feige Posy of Yerushalayim)… Dr. Yakov and Ariella Agatstein, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Ernie and Suzanne Agatstein; Great-grandparents Ben and Leah Lax… Duvie and Esther Malka Maryles, a son (Grandparents Heshy and Shaindy Maryles… Mendel and Sara Fishman of Toronto, a daughter (Grandparents Marty and Miriam Fishman)… Jonathan and Lynn Abesera, a daughter (Grandparents Henri and Danielle Abesera).

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvahs: Menny Kagan, son of Dovid and Judy Kagan… Ben Harel, son of Gil and Iris Harel… Yaakov Nachimson, son of Irwin and Sharon Nachimson.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Rachel Schultz, daughter of David and Debbie Schultz, to Daniel Small of Teaneck, NJ… Nicolo Nourafchan to Chaya Barber of Crown Heights, NY… Chaim Katz, son of Harold and Magda Katz, to Dena Shandalov of Chicago, IL… Philip Marcus to Pamela Kleinman… Yaakov Gindi, son of Dr. Joseph Gindi, to Sheina Feigelstock, son of Ephraim and Suzanne Feigelstock… Eli Weiner, son of Rabbi Avraham and Frumie Weiner, to Bracha Kleinman of Flatbush, NY… Ariella Borman, daughter of Howard and Nava Borman of Woodland Hills, to Gavriel Weiss… Zev Levinson, son of Yehoshua and Minna Levinson, to Devorah Herenstein… Batya Rotter, daughter of Dr. Arnold and Leah Rotter, to Dr. Gidon Winter of Melbourne, Australia… Yechiel Weinfeld, son of Shimon and Eva Weinfeld, to Sara Borne… Sara Brummer, daughter of George and Harriet Brummer, to Nathaniel Goldstein, son of Jeff and Wendy Goldstein of Agoura Hills, CA… Dovid Moshe Einstein, son of Shmuel and Karen Einstein, to Eidel Mocanu of NY.

Mazel Tov – Wedding: Lisa Guzik, daughter of Sam and Jeanette Guzik, to Mark Blum.

 

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Aaron and Helen Baskin, a daughter… Ronen and Liat Vaisenberg, a daughter. Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvah: Naomi Moskowitz, daughter of Alan and Michelle Moskowitz.

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Seiji Shaw, son of Robin and Julie Shaw.

 

VALLEY VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Yisroel and Sima Semmel of Kew Gardens Hills, NY, a daughter (Grandparents David and Miriam Striks)… Elly and Deena Fireman, a son (Grandparents David and Kathy Dardashty)… Rabbi Moshe and Basya Samuels, a daughter (Grandparents Cary and Joyce Samuels; Julia Hellman Gindi).

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Ryan Turrell, son of Brad and Laurel Turrell.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Dina Ackerman, daughter of Zoltan and Martha Ackerman, to Moshe Franklin of St. Louis, MO… Sheina Feigelstock, son of Ephraim and Suzanne Feigelstock, to Yaakov Gindi, son of Dr. Joseph Gindi.

OU To Host Leadership Weekend

Friday, January 27th, 2012

The Orthodox Union will bring leadership to South Florida for Shabbat Shira Weekend, February 3-5.

Nine scholars-in-residence will make the trip, each assigned to a separate synagogue. A tenth shul will be the site of a Thursday, February 2 program that will open the weekend.

Each scholar will speak on Shabbat at the host shul and meet the community. In addition, the extended weekend will include a presentation by Rav Hershel Schachter and a special “Ask the OU Rabbis” program presented by OU Kosher; an OU Job Fair, all preceded by the Thursday opening program.

The participating synagogues on Shabbat, and the speakers, are as follows:

Anshei Chesed Congregation, Boynton Beach – Rabbi Jonathan Gross, chief rabbi of Beth Israel Synagogue, Omaha

Beth Israel Congregation, Miami Beach – Rav Hershel Schachter, halachic consultant OU Kosher and rosh yeshiva and rosh kollel, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Yeshiva University

Boca Raton Synagogue – Charles Harary, OU national vice president

Boca Jewish Center/Shaaray Tefilla – Rabbi Steven Weil, executive vice president, Orthodox Union

Palm Beach Synagogue – Rabbi Steven Burg, managing director, Orthodox Union

Sky Lake Synagogue, North Miami Beach – Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin, associate director of education, Orthodox Union

Temple Moses, Miami Beach – Rabbi Avi Berman, director general, OU Israel

Young Israel of Hollywood – Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, executive vice president, emeritus, Orthodox Union

Young Israel of Kendall – Rabbi David Felsenthal, director of alumni, NCSY (the OU’s international youth program)

Rabbi Berman will open the program on Thursday evening at 8 p.m. at Congregation Torah Ohr in Boca Raton. He will speak on “Will the Jewish State Stay Jewish?” On Sunday, Rav Schachter will speak at the Boca Raton Synagogue at 9:30 a.m. on “Segulahs, Superstitions and Ayin Harahs.” That same day, from 9:45 a.m. to noon, Rabbis Yosef Grossman, Chaim Loike and Dovid Jenkins will participate in a panel Q&A session, “Ask the OU Rabbis,” following a presentation by Rabbi Loike on “The Mesorah of Kosher Birds” and by Rabbi Jenkins on “How Tootsie Roll, Gatorade and Corporate America have Affected Kashrut.” The event will take place at Young Israel of Hollywood.

The visit will actually conclude after the weekend is over on Tuesday, February 7, when the OU Job Board comes to South Florida for the first time. See listing in Calendar of Events, above.

Jerusalem’s Old Young Israel

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Recently my wife and I spent Shabbat in Jerusalem with some friends. They made aliyah a year and a half ago and invited us to spend the day with them in the Holy City.

On Shabbat morning Ken and I, with two of his children, made our way to the Old City, to the Muslim Quarter, about a 35-minute walk. The Jerusalem winter air was crisp, cold and clear. Just as I remember it from when I first lived in Israel, in Jerusalem, some 37 years ago.

As the sun rose, lighting up the sky with a seeming sanctity that might only be sensed in the holiest city in the world, we walked briskly down the street, onto Aza Road, and then down Agron. Crossing the main street we entered an area I’d never visited, the Mamilla promenade. It is really a combination of the old and the new. Externally it has a kind of quaint atmosphere, but the storefronts are far from old-fashioned, selling anything and everything you can imagine, at prices I’m sure aren’t from the Middle Ages.

The walkway led to narrow stone stairs, directly in front of Jaffa Gate, leading into the Old City. As we crossed from the twenty-first century into a time warp going back about 2,000 years, I recalled the first time I’d crossed that threshold, back then. The day after we arrived – it was probably late Friday morning – I stood outside that huge stone wall, waiting for all the group to arrive so that we could all go in together. I remembered the excitement, the anticipation, knowing that in a few moments we’d be marching to the Kotel, the Western Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem.

It’s a little different today. The “gate” is no longer there, just a big opening, like a hole in the wall. But walking through an almost empty Arab market, down the smooth stone stairs, under arches people are used to seeing only in pictures, it was quite a feeling.

We didn’t make a right turn toward the Kotel, to pray at the Wall. Rather we turned left, into the Muslim Quarter. We walked past a memorial to Elchanan Atali, a young yeshiva student murdered there some 21 years ago. And then, on the left side of the road, we came to a door with a sign hanging on the wall: “Chazon Yechezkel Synagogue – Young Israel of the Old City of Jerusalem.”

Young Israel, of course, is an association of Orthodox synagogues, located primarily in the United States. There are some here in Israel as well. This particular Young Israel is located about 5 minutes from the Kotel, in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Walking up the stairs in what must be a fairly old building, I came to the sanctuary, a small haimish room, with a few people already in attendance. It was then about 7:10.

Standing in the middle of the room, by the pulpit, was an older, scholarly, kindly looking man studying the weekly Torah portion. I introduced myself, telling him we have a mutual friend living in Chicago. He asked if I was from there too; I told him I’m from Hebron. He told me he has a son there. I responded that his son was my youngest son’s teacher in the yeshiva high school in Kiryat Arba.

Then I sat down and listened to his Torah shiur.

Rabbi Nachman Kahana really is a great Torah sage. He has authored well-known books, is an accomplished speaker and a leader of the Jewish presence in the Old City, and here, in the Muslim Quarter, where the Jewish presence has grown by leaps and bounds over the past years, thanks to people like Rabbi Kahana.

And if the name rings a bell, yes, he is the brother of the murdered Rabbi Meir Kahane.

One theme repeated itself in Rabbi Kahana’s talks on Shabbat – the need for Jews to live in Israel. Most of the people attending the rabbi’s synagogue are former Americans who came to live in Israel, some many years ago, others more recently.
There were some young men also in attendance who perhaps hadn’t yet made that fateful decision to stay in Israel rather than return to the U.S. I’m sure his words, which he spoke in both English and Hebrew, didn’t fall on deaf ears.

Whenever he’s in Israel, my friend Jack from Chicago usually turns down my invitations for Shabbat, saying he prefers to be with Rabbi Nachman Kahana in the Old City. Now I know why. It’s an unbelievable experience.

Actually, the Young Israel of the Old City isn’t really so young; it’s a segment of the chain of Jewish history, culture and Torah, adjacent to the holiest place in the world, the Temple Mount.

Rabbi Kahana and his congregation are helping to ensure that this site will remain Jewish forever.

David Wilder is a longtime activist, writer, spokesman and lecturer on behalf of Hebron’s Jewish community, where he resides.

Events In The West

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

EVENTS IN THE WEST: On Saturday night, January 28, Palo Alto will feature a Feast of Jewish Learning, a night of Jewish unity for the South Peninsula. The program is sponsored by the JCC and the Bureau of Jewish Education… On February 3-5, the chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, will be in Los Angeles. On Shabbos he’ll speak at Beth Jacob Beverly Hills, and after Minchah at Young Israel of Century City. The next day he will speak at the dedication of Young Israel of Beverly Hills’s new building… On February 3-4, Rabbi Berel Wein will be the scholar-in-residence at Young Israel of Hancock Park… On February 8, Sara Yocheved Rigler will speak on “The Spiritual GPS: How to get to the place you want to be” at the JLE in L.A. … The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) will hold its convention on May 7-9 in the Beverly Hills and Pico-Robertson neighborhood of L.A.

YESHIVA NEWS: Two new ideas from Yeshivat Yavneh to make the most of their carpool line: raise enough money to help eighth graders go to Israel for their class trip, and on Thursdays the students sell pizza followed by the Friday morning selling of challah.

KOSHER NEWS: Miller’s and Haolam cheeses are voluntarily recalling all 8 oz. and 16 oz. bags of Miller’s and Haolam shredded cheese with an expiration of June 5, 2012- Sept. 4, 2012 and all 32 oz. bags of Miller’s shredded Mozzarella and Haolam Shredded Mozzarella and Gourmet Blend with an expiration date of February 6, 2012- May 7, 2012. The same holds true for all 5 lb. bags of Miller’s and Haolam shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar, Muenster and Monterey Jack with a pack date of Sept. 8, 2011- Dec. 7, 2011. Please note that only the 5 lb. Shredded bags are pack date instead of the expiration date. The voluntary recall of the Miller’s and Haolam products was only for the shredded cheese and does not involve any of the other quality cheese products under the Miller’s and Haolam brand. Those include any of the types of cheese that were shredded that also come in other shapes, sizes or forms (not shredded)… Martinelli’s Gold Medal Sparkling Cider in six-pack shrink-bundled 250 ml. glass bottles are being recalled in the western United States due to the possibility of a defective seal that could break when opening the bottle. The six-pack shrink-bundled 250 ml. Martinelli’s Gold Medal Sparkling Cider “Best By” dates being recalled are: 11 APR 2014, 12 APR 2014, 13 APR 2014, and 14 APR 2014… Kehilla Kosher announced that the following Hansen’s Beverage juices in 64 oz. sizes have been mislabeled with the Heart-K logo: Apple Strawberry, Apple Grape, Cranberry, Cranberry Apple, Grape, and White Grape. These products are in fact not kosher. Corrective action is being taken.

WOMEN ONLY: As part of Bikur Cholim of Los Angeles’s Women’s Health Care Campaign, the organization is providing free and low-cost mammogram vouchers for those women whose insurance does not cover this test, or if their deductible/co-payment is unaffordable. The number of vouchers is limited, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Birth: Mark and Tali Silberstein, a daughter (Grandparents Michael and Lynne Silberstein).

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Mordechai and Zahava Moskowitz, a son (Grandparents Irwin and Tania Lowi; Moishe and Chavie Moskowitz; Great-grandparents Alex and Norma Pacifico; Sal and Rita Lowi)… Reuven Chaim and Shira Klein of Ramat Eshkol, a son (Grandparents Michael and Edith Klein)… Mendel and Esther Plotke in London, a son… Levi and Rivka Gelb, a son (Grandparents Yisroel and Miriam Koch)… Sruly and Mushky Karasic of Crown Heights, NY (Grandparents Rabbi Simcha and Tzirel Frankel)… Dovi and Chani Goldman, a daughter (Grandparents Rabbi Mendy and Hadassah Spalter)… Rabbi Berel and Zisi Yemini, a son… David and Susie Ozeri, a son (Grandparents Allen and Judy Ishakis)… Dr. Mark and Devorah Levine, a son (Grandfather Dr. Robert Levine)… Yehuda and Sara Maryles, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Heshy and Shaindy Maryles)… Rabbi Yitzchok and Chana Bader, a daughter… Eliyahu and Leah Hamoui, a daughter (Grandparents Rabbi Dovid and Sara Toledano)… Gabi and Elana Pinchasov, a son (Grandparents Joshua and Chana Zauderer)… Berel and Fraidi Schuserman, a daughter… Rabbi Dovid and Jasmine Brafman, a son (Grandparents Jaime and Marilyn Sohacheski)… Srulie and Esti Rose, a son (Grandparents Glenda Rose and the late Rabbi Rafael Rose).

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvahs: Eliezer Zucker, son of Mark and Kim Zucker… Levi Cohen, son of Akiva and Debbie Cohen.

Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvah: Eliana Markman, daughter of Rabbi Aryeh and Rochel Markman.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Meira Weiss, daughter of Simcha and Bena Weiss, to Motti Zisovitz of Lakewood… Rabbi Yossi Itzinger to Leah Rapaport of Syracuse, NY… Jonathan Uretsky, son of Steve and Murielle Uretsky, to Ilana Sussman of NY… Michael Pollack, son of Marty and Evey Pollack, to Tali Swergold of Woodmere, NY.

Mazel Tov – Weddings: Yoni Udkoff to Chayale Sharfstein… Shmueli Schwartz, son of Dr. Joseph and Brenda Schwartz, to Raquel Stern of Miami Beach… Felice Fromm to Leigh Greenberg.

OU Job Board Presents S. Florida’s First-Ever Job Fair

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The OU Job Board will hold its first Job Fair in South Florida on Tuesday, February 7 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Young Israel of Hollywood, 3291 Stirling Road. Job seekers and employers can register to participate in the Fair on the Job Board website at www.oujobs.org.

There is no fee for applicants or employers. Registration is mandatory for applicants. No walk-ins will be accepted. At past OU Job Fairs in the United States and Israel, individuals have been hired on the spot or scheduled to visit a company for a second interview.

Employers with available jobs are encouraged to contact Michael Rosner, director of the OU Job Board, at jobsco@ou.org. Employers receive, tables and chairs; table coverings; WiFi access; personalized sign; job postings at the Fair and online; snacks and water; advertising through local press and social media (if desired); free parking; and links to company website (if available).

Potential applicants can view a list online of available jobs and employers who will be attending the fair at www.oujobs.org. For more information, contact jobsco@ou.org or call 212-563-4000.

An American Odyssey (Part 3)

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

After a good meal in Houston Thursday night, we spent the evening at the Quality Inn near the Space Center. Early Friday morning we left for the Space Center so that we could get an early start before Shabbat. I had worked for a while as a consultant at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and I found the exhibits at the center in Houston to be very interesting. We took both tram rides, met an astronaut, saw the IMAX show and the Starship Gallery, and visited as many exhibits as possible. We then headed back to town to prepare for Shabbat. During our first week on the road we had travelled over 1,800 miles, from Florida through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to Texas.

Dov and Barbara Gilor at the Houston Space Center.

Prior to leaving New York, we had purchased a few dozen La Briute self-cooking meals and Meal Mart microwave meals for the trip, but there is nothing like “home-cooked” meals after the packaged variety. The La Briute meals were very convenient and better than airline food, but not much better.

The hospitality of the Houston Jewish community was the warmest of all of the communities we visited. Our hostess, Helen Feintuch, welcomed us and led us to her washer and drier so that we could make sure that I had a white shirt for Shabbat. My wife, Barbara, had asked our other hostess, Sandy Friedman, to order kosher roast chickens and cooked meat for our meals during the coming week’s travels. After leaving my brother Avi and me to handle the laundry, Barbara and Avi’s wife, Martha, drove to pick up the order, cut it up and package individual meals for the next few days of our trip. (We had a large cooler in the van which we kept filled with ice for those items that had to be refrigerated.)

We davened at the Young Israel of Houston and enjoyed Rabbi Yehoshua Wender’s d’rashot. We ate our Shabbat meal that evening with the Friedmans and we learned a great deal about the Houston Jewish community and its growth. Our friends, Howard and Florence Kushner, who we had met several years ago when they came to Israel for Pesach, were also guests that evening, along with Karen and Steve Rosenblatt. It was a very interesting and enjoyable evening with lots of laughs and stories.

(L-R) Avi and Martha Gittler, Howie and Helen Feintuch, Barbara and Dov Gilor in front of the Feintuch home in Houston.

After Shabbat morning davening at the Young Israel, we joined Helen and Howie and the Feintuch family and their other guests for lunch. They had invited Suzie and Jeff Goldstein (of Suzie’s Grill) with their twins who had just returned from a year in Israel. Gedalia and Judy Pollack joined us with two others from Israel, Avi Lin from Raanana and Zev Gross from Kfar Saba. It was a very lively lunch and we all enjoyed ourselves.

After Minchah, I was invited to speak to the Young Israel community about life in our settlement community and answered many questions from the members.

After Havdalah, besides doing more loads of laundry, we socialized and learned about the Houston community. We were amazed to learn that some of the beautiful homes with swimming pools we visited had cost under $200,000, while in Israel a four-room apartment costs more than that.

We had planned to rush off the next morning to continue our trip, but the hospitality was so warm and the conversation so interesting that we did not get moving until after 11:00. We then headed for the Alamo.

(To be continued)

Comments may be sent to dov@gilor.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/focus-israel/an-american-odyssey-part-3/2012/01/11/

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